Theater review: ?쁗omen in Jeopardy??at Aurora ??audiences, too

LaLa Cochran and Andrew Benator may not be the two greatest actors Atlanta theatergoers have ever seen, exactly, although both of them certainly rank among the better and more experienced members of our local talent pool. Nor is it intended as a personal slight against Kelly Criss (who?셲 best known for her acting) to suggest that she might not be the finest or most qualified director in town, either.

But, even if they were the be-all and end-all of everything, you still can?셳 help doubting whether that would be enough to lessen or overcome the dreadful mediocrity of their material in Aurora Theatre?셲 ?쏻omen in Jeopardy.??/strong> Could, say, the likes of Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks and Martin Scorsese have spun gold out of Wendy MacLeod?셲 stupefying comedy? In a word: No.

The show is quite erroneously billed as ?쒋€쁔helma and Louise??meets ?쁔he First Wives Club,?쇺€?inasmuch as it sorely lacks any trace of the one movie?셲 feisty feminism or the other?셲 chic sophistication. The play involves a trio of jaded Salt Lake City divorcees, and the ostensibly hysterical high jinks that ensue after one of them, Cochran?셲 Liz, disrupts their weekly ?쐆en party??by bringing along a new boyfriend, Benator?셲 Jackson.

He?셲 an obnoxious dentist whose pet name for her is ?쏝oobs,??so it?셲 of little wonder when he?셲 eventually described as a ?쐏ervier poor man?셲 Woody Allen.??By the same dubious token, however, MacLeod?셲 female characters are basically just variations of a dumber poor woman?셲 Lucy Ricardo or Ethel Mertz.

Once they realize that his dental hygienist has gone missing, the presumed victim of a serial killer, Liz?셲 friends Mary (out-of-town actress Kerrie Seymour) and Jo (Kate Kneeland, a late replacement to the cast) jump to the preposterously far-fetched and painfully unfunny conclusion that Jackson is the culprit.

Had the script been written by a man, at least you could dismiss him as a sexist pig for his depiction of these women. Besides the oblivious Liz, who’s referred to at one point as “so stupid she deserves to die” (ha ha), there’s her clueless teenage daughter, Amanda (Caroline Arapoglou), a role mostly defined by her “single-digit SAT scores.”

MacLeod is an equal-opportunity offender with regard to her male characters, too. In addition to Jackson, Benator also plays a police detective, with a dim-witted wink to Peter Sellers’ Inspector Clouseau. And Justin Walker portrays Amanda’s lame-brained boyfriend, sort of a snowboarding equivalent to Sean Penn’s surfer dude from “Fast Times at Ridgemont High,” and heavy on the “whoas.”

Sisters and peerless Atlanta scenic designers Isabel and Moriah Curley-Clay earn the only legitimate “whoa” in the show. Having embellished many a production over the years, their work here is of singular note. Midway through the second act, a well-appointed kitchen set disassembles to reveal a remote rocky canyon.

Otherwise, audiences are advised to beware “Women in Jeopardy,” or proceed at their own risk.

Reader Comments

Next Up in Entertainment

Grown-up 'Middle School' stars reflect on their 'Worst Years'
        Pesky pimples. Sneering bullies. Awkward dances your dad just had to chaperone.
Review: Emily Blunt is excellent, but this 'Girl' is a trainwreck
The Girl on the Train is more successful as a public service announcement about the dangers of binge drinking than as a gripping, twisty mystery.
Atlanta Mac & Cheese Festival: 5 things to do this weekend
Looking for a way to unwind from another demanding work week?Luckily, there are plenty of options for metro Atlanta residents and visitors.
'Birth' of a controversy: Is Nate Parker's 'Nation' forever tainted?
 The timing couldn't have been better.Amid the #OscarsSoWhite uproar, The Birth of a Nation premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January and...
Anthony Hamilton will headline ?쁍ew Year?셲 Weekend Celebration??at Fox Theatre
Anthony Hamilton will headline ?쁍ew Year?셲 Weekend Celebration??at Fox Theatre
Anthony Hamilton will close out 2016 at the Fox Theatre. Photo: Getty Images. BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene blog Anthony Hamilton will prepare...
More Stories

You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99짖 for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of free premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99짖 for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on